List of Latin place names in Asia

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Latin Place Names
by country
Africa
Asia
Europe
by type
Cities
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This list includes Asian countries and regions that were part of the Roman Empire, or that were given Latin place names in historical references.

Background[edit]

Until the Modern Era, Latin was the common language for scholarship and mapmaking. During the 19th and 20th centuries, German scholars in particular have made significant contributions to the study of historical place names, or Ortsnamenkunde. These studies have, in turn, contributed to the study of genealogy. For genealogists and historians of pre-Modern Europe, knowing alternate names of places is vital to extracting information from both public and private records. Even specialists in this field point out, however, that the information can be easily taken out of context, since there is a great deal of repetition of place names throughout Europe; reliance purely on apparent connections should therefore be tempered with valid historical methodology.

Caveats and notes[edit]

Latin place names are not always exclusive to one place — for example, there were several Roman cities whose names began with Colonia and then a more descriptive term. During the Middle Ages, these were often shortened to just Colonia. One of these, Colonia Agrippinensis, retains the name today in the form of Cologne.

Early sources for Roman names show numerous variants and spellings of the Latin names.

The modern canonical name is listed first. Sources are listed chronologically. In general, only the earliest source is shown for each name, although many of the names are recorded in more than one of the sources. Where the source differs in spelling, or has other alternatives, these are listed following the source. As an aid to searching, variants are spelled completely, and listed in most likely chronology.

Superscripts indicate:

  1. Latinized form of the Greek-derived name.
  2. Latinized form of the Asian-derived name via Greek.
  3. Altered Latinized form of the Greek-derived name.

Cities and towns in Anatolia (Turkey)[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Ancyra Ankara
Antiochia Mygdonia Nusaybin, Mardin Province
Dorylaeum near Eşkişehir
Ephesus Efes
Flavias, Flaviopolis Kozan, Adana Province
Halicarnassus¹ Bodrum
Heraclea Pontica Bender Eregli
Hierapolis Pamukkale
Ilium Troy
Mopsuestia (5PNH22: Mopsos) Misis - Missis - Mamistra - Hadriana - Seleucia, Adana Province
Nicaea Iznik
Nicomedia¹ İzmit
Ninica, Claudiopolis Mut, Adana Province
Prusa, Brusa Bursa
Seleucia Calycadnus, Seleucia Isauria, Seleucia Tracheotis Silifke - Selefke, Adana Province
Trapezus Trabzon - Trebizond
Pergamon Bergama
Chalcedonia Kadıköy
Iconium, Iconia Konya
Ephesus Efes
Heraklia, Eraclea Ereğli
Assos Asos
Smyrna İzmir
Caesarea Kayseri
Tarsus Tarsus
Attaleia Antalya
Amastris Amasya
Alexandria Ad Issum Iskenderun
Nicomedia Izmit
Phoenicia¹ Fenike

Cities and towns in Afghanistan[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria Arachosia Kandahār
Alexandria Ariana, Alexandria in Aria, Aria Herāt
Alexandria ad Caucasum, Alexandria Caucasiana Bagrām / Chārikār
Alexandria Oxiana, Eucratidia¹ Ai-Khanoum (or Termez in Uzbekistan?)
Phrada², Prophthasia¹ Farāh

Cities and towns in Cyprus[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Larnaca¹ Larnaca
Salamis¹ Salamis

Cities and towns in Georgia[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Athōs Novum, Anacopia New Athos
Phasis² Poti
Triphelis Tbilisi

Cities and towns in Iran[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria in Carmania Golāshkerd

Cities and towns in Iraq[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria in Susiana Al-Qurnah
Alexandria Iskandariya

Cities and towns in Israel[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Aelia Capitolina, Hierosolyma Jerusalem - Ilea - Iliya (إلياء)
Alexandrium Kfar Stuna
Antipatris¹ Kfar Saba - Ras-el-Ain ???
Azotus² Ashdod (or Gaza in the Palestinian territories?)
Caesarea Caesarea
Iopea Jaffa (Yafo) / Tel-Aviv
Flavia Neapolis¹ Nablus
Scythopolis¹ Beit She'an
Tiberias Tveria

Cities and towns in Lebanon[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Arca Caesarea Arqa
Berytus² Beirut (Bayrūt)
Methana² Meshen
Tripolis¹ Tripoli

Cities and towns in Pakistan[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria Indiana Uch
Alexandria Nicaea, Nicaea, Bucephala Jhelum
Arigaeum Nawagai
Rhambacia Bela

Cities and towns in the Palestinian territories[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Gaza² Gaza
Raphia² Rafah

Cities and towns in Russia[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Tobolium Tobolsk

Cities and towns in Syria[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Beroea Aleppo
Damascus Damascus (Dimashq)
Emesa Homs
Palmyra Palmyra (Tadmor)
Sergiopolis Resafa

Cities and towns in Tajikistan[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria Eschatē¹, Alexandria Ultima Khujand

Cities and towns in Turkmenistan[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria in Margiana, Antiochia in Margiana Merv

Cities and towns in Uzbekistan[edit]

Canonical Latin Name (source(s): variant(s)) English Name (native language(s)) - older name(s), (other language(s)), location(s)
Alexandria Iskandar
Maracanda Samarkand

See also[edit]

References[edit]

In order of likely publication:

  • PNH: Pliny (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Naturalis Historia; book "PNH" chapter (that is, "37PNH81" instead of the usual "N.H.xxxvii.81").
  • PG: Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), Geographia; book "PG" chapter (that is, "2PG3" instead of the usual "II.3"). Ptolemy wrote in Greek, so names are transliterated back into Latin to reveal the original form.
  • GOL: The standard reference to Latin placenames, with their modern equivalents, is Dr. J. G. Th. Graesse, Orbis Latinus : Lexikon lateinischer geographischer Namen des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (1909), an exhaustive work of meticulous German scholarship that is available on-line. To use it, one must understand German names of countries, as they were in 1909. The original was re-edited and expanded in a multi-volume edition in 1972.

External links[edit]